By WAYLON GALVEZ
Games Tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
5:45 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Meralco
8 p.m. – Petron vs San Mig
Manila, Philippines – Alaska’s do-it-all forward Calvin Abueva failed to attend team practice Saturday, the real reason why he was benched when the Aces fought and lost to Globalport last Sunday in the 2014 PLDT myDSL Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta coliseum.
Alaska had said Abueva sat out the match due to a sprained ankle, but a team insider said the 6-2 player had a bad hangover after a night of drinking and was unable to show up in practice.
Abueva, the Rookie of the Year last season, was in uniform but was not fielded as Alaska dropped a 91-88 overtime loss to Batang Pier, putting the squad in danger of failing to make the quarterfinal round that starts next week.
Aside from the team’s action, Abueva also faces stiff penalty from the PBA Commissioner’s Office as league chief Chito Salud summoned him at 1 p.m. today to explain his side after the on-court scuffle he had with Meralco’s Jared Dillinger in a game last Friday.
The 6-foot-5 Dillinger was also ordered by Salud to appear today at 11 a.m.
Salud reviewed the tape yesterday, and since he found that the technical fouls assessed on Abueva and Dillinger were not sufficient, he ordered the two to appear in his office to determine whether a harsher penalty should be meted.
A possibility is to slap them with fines and game suspensions should the calls be upgraded to flagrant fouls.
The scuffle started when Abueva blocked the lay-up attempt of Dillinger with 10:11 to play. As the two fell on the baseline railing, Abueva struck Dillinger twice, giving the Meralco forward a bruise under his left eye and the second bloodying his nose.
Dillinger retaliated by nearly choking the hyperkinetic Abueva.
Still, according to sources, Abueva has a mild sprained ankle, but the way he runs and walks during the pre-game warm up, showed no signs of being bothered by the injury.
“Other players managed to play even with knee or ankle, or shoulder injuries. So why can’t Calvin do the same? It’s because he was disciplined by the team for what he did, especially for missing the practice without informing any of the coaches or team personnel,” said a source who requested not to be named.
Abueva averages 10.7 points, 8 rebounds and two feeds a game in 22 minutes of play.